Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Flint Makes the New York Magazine Approval Matrix for All the Wrong Reasons

1 comment:

  1. I just read your book, Teardown. Excellent book.
    I lived in Flint from 65 to 68, when I went to GMI and then Flint Community College. Flint was quite a change from the small town I grew up in, Johnstown New York.

    GMI was a work-study school. I worked in Willow Run, Ypsilanti, but I roomed with a guy who worked in the Chevy plant. C.S. Mott was a very penurious guy, a cheapskate even. Every couple of years he'd buy the absolute cheapest GM car. In the early 60s, it was a Corvair. Corvairs were troublesome car, especially with oil leaks. So, every time S.S. saw an oil spot on the garage floor, he'd call up the plant manager at the Chevy plant, who would then send a GMI student out to the mansion to collect the Corvair and get it fixed. This was probably a monthly occurrence. But no matter how hard the guys tried, the Corvair was bound to leak. GM's solution? No, they never fixed the oil leaks in Corvairs. Instead, they cut the price on a 4 cylinder Chevy II so it was GM's cheapest car. C.S. bought one, and the trips to the mansion essentially ended.

    I spent the last year I was in Flint living on Crapo Street, across from the library. I spent many hours in the library. At the time, theyhad lots of books about the automotive history of GM, written by the old timers themselves. I suspect that they are all gone now.

    Bob Elton


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at